Shakespeare’s Gardens is a highly illustrated, informative book about the gardens that William Shakespeare knew as a boy and tended as a man, published to coincide with the 400th anniversary of his death in April 2016. This anniversary will be the focus of literary celebration of the life and work throughout the English speaking world and beyond.
The book will focus on the gardens that Shakespeare knew, including the five gardens in Stratford upon Avon in which he gardened and explored. From his birthplace in Henley Street, to his childhood playground at Mary Arden’s Farm, to his courting days at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and his final home at New Place – where he created a garden to reflect his fame and wealth. Cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, these gardens are continually evolving to reflect our ongoing knowledge of his life.
The book will also explore the plants that Shakespeare knew and wrote about: their use in his work and the meanings that his audiences would have picked up on – including mulberries, roses, daffodils, pansies, herbs and a host of other flowers. More than four centuries after the playwright lived, whenever we think of thyme, violets or roses, we are reminded of a line from his work.
Shakespeare’s Gardens brings together specially commissioned photography of the gardens with beautiful archive images of flowers, old herbals, and 16th century illustrations. It tells the story of Shakespeare’s journey – from glove maker’s son to national bard – and how he came to know so much about plants, flowers and gardens of the Elizabethan era.